Sunday, October 31, 2010

One week to go

Until the raffle! I have to say that we're getting pretty excited. A friend of ours wrote up a news article & has distributed it to several media outlets. I have no idea if anyone will pick it up. I know that the 2 of us have sold $180 of raffle tickets by ourselves & that the person who's organizing it is selling more & has many on hand at the local restaurant where we'll have the drawing next Sunday.

I keep listing stuff on Craiglist & eBay, and have books back up for sale on and Amazon. I've also been trading on SwapMamas for baby care items, so we'll have a small stash at the ready. Every dollar gets us closer to bringing a baby home ... and to getting stuff for the baby!

I'd posted a while back about stuff that I wanted to get done. I've managed the following: haircut for me, new sneakers for my sweetie, most of the herbs harvested, and most of the bills paid. Still feels like we're being nickled & dimed to death. I started to make cathedral window squares to have a portable sewing project & I've asked a good friend to show me a crochet stitch for me to work on. I just do so much better when I have someone do a stitch in front of me.

Still need to steam clean the carpets (probably a project for tomorrow night or Tuesday evening). I need to post more items on Craigslist (it's so time consuming to get pictures & then write up descriptions, but I think it helps a LOT to sell the stuff), and I have some boxes to pack up & send out. I'm starting to feel like I'm on top of things. Feels good.

Friday, October 29, 2010

So the cats didn't throw up.

But I received a $587 medical bill.

I am stunned & outraged. I am so mad I am actually shaking.

Two weeks ago, I went into the doctor's office for a blood draw. (I started Lipitor about 6 weeks ago & they needed to check to make sure it wasn't doing anything wacky to me.) The head nurse said she was having a hard time finding a vein & asked if I was a hard stick. Nope. Never been difficult for anyone to draw my blood. She said she just couldn't do it (this was after she'd dug around in my arm with a needle. Never had THAT happen before, either.) and that "If I can't get it, we can just send you downstairs to the lab." (The office is affiliated with a hospital.)

At that point I'm thinking "I've been fasting for 16 hours. I don't want to drive all the way back here (took us 45 minutes to get there that morning, between distance and traffic). I just want this done. Sounds like they do this kind of thing all the time. Let's just get it done."

So, they write up the order, like they DO this kind of thing all the time, and I go downstairs and get the blood drawn, totally expecting a bill like my husband's had for the same service from this doctor's office. Nope. $587. It's TEN TIMES more expensive.

Now, here's the part that pisses me off. Because of this nurse's incompetence & lack of intelligence, *I* am being billed??! Not my fault that she couldn't draw my blood ... and I would've gladly have done it MANY other places or at different time or come up with a totally innovative solution had I KNOWN it would be FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN DOLLARS! Her blithe "Oh, we'll just send you downstairs" implies she has a working relationship with them ... and knows how much they charge ... and I believe it's HER responsibility to let me know its 10x what they would charge me. All she had to do was say "I could send you down to the lab, but I don't know what they'd charge." That's what *I* would've said.

I called this morning to talk to the hospital, to make sure the charges were right. And then I called the doctor's office & spoke with the head nurse. Her position is that it's not her responsibility to know what the hospital will charge me. My position is that it totally IS her responsibility if (a) it's a very routine test and (b) she's sending me as though she does it all the damned time.

GAH!!!!! Because you know we just have money laying around the house for just this sort of thing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I am calm. Look at how Zen I am.

Car probably broken beyond repair. Okay. I can adjust.

On Demand doesn't work for my morning workout with a friend. That's okay. I'm just happy that we'd already planned it was at my house so I didn't have to do backflips to figure something out.

I've got some old VHS tapes with workouts on them.

Except now, the VHS machine doesn't work. Yeah. Okay. We'll go for a walk. Yup. That works.

I get home & realize that somehow, a candle was apparently in the sunlight of our bay window during a really sunny day. And black wax has dripped all over the teak table.

I'm just waiting for one of the cats to throw up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm not much into the hard selling ...

... so I've just been distributing flyers about the raffle* & I've been taken aback by the people who come looking for me a day later with money in hand, asking to buy a ticket or 12! And I've had some folks who don't live close by, but who are in Chicagoland, who've wanted to buy some tickets, so I've found a way to get those to them, too. And now ... I've had some internet buds ask where they can get tickets! So, in an attempt to creatively field those requests, here goes!

If you're interested in getting in on the raffle but don't live close enough I can get tickets to you easily, here's my solution:

1) Click on this here donate button:

2) For every 10 dollars you donate, I'll write your name and email address on 11 raffle tickets, and put 'em in the raffle. (Uh, so make sure you note your name & email address in the notes section and/or use an email address to make the donation that's one I can actually find you at.)

3)If you win one of the 3 gift baskets (drawing to be held on November 7th), I'll find a way to disassemble it & ship it to you. Or if you have another person it should be sent to, I'll send it to them, instead. Your call!

*no idea what I'm referring to? Click here or scroll down by a few posts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Now, with more coverage!

Well, as of yesterday afternoon, we've been activated with the new, nation-wide agency. So, we should have a wider dispersal of our profile. Or at least that is the hope. Wish us luck & keep us in your prayers. We're about $2,000 shy of the next chunk of funds that will be due as soon as we match. We're so very appreciative of everyone who's pitched in and helped out in their own way! Time, funds, goods, hugs -- it's all just tremendously meaningful to us.

I'm now entering a 'nesting' phase. I feel compelled to get as much squared away as possible, before we get The Call. It could happen tomorrow ... it could happen in months ... or years. No way to predict. Trust me, it's hard.

For now, I'll be happy if I can do the following:
1) Get the carpets steam cleaned.
2) Get a haircut. (Uh, my last hair cut was 4/22. I need it.)
3) Get portable sewing and crocheting projects packed up so I'll have something to keep me busy during a long drive, long plane trip, and/or long waits at the hotel/hospital.
4) Get the last of the herbs harvested & turned into something usable
5) Get new sneakers for Ken. (The sole on one is starting to flap.)
6) Get caught up on bills now that we're not being nickeled and dimed to death. It'd be really nice to pay things as they come in so we can just head out & not worry about bills not being paid in our absence.

Yeah. If I could get all that done, I'd be really happy. I already have started a "go" bag. I figure if the folks on Criminal Minds need one for last minute travel, it won't hurt for us to have one, either.

And I'm not listing anything else on eBay once the last auction clears. I don't want to have something sell while we're gone. Yeah, I know. Unlikely, but it's one more thing I don't want to have to worry about.

That's the name of the game (as I sit here listening to Crystal Method) -- less stress. 'Cause once we get The Call, we're just along for the ride.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mind-boggling in more ways than one

1) The new adoption agency completely freaked us out by sending us paperwork that in no way matched what we'd discussed with them thus far. They are now completely apologetic & state that they realize that this has caused us significant stress & made it difficult for us to feel comfortable with them. They've since sent us a new agreement, which I scanned quickly -- it IS what we expected from them initially. We missed our window of time to get it notarized when we had free time on Friday, and now it'll have to wait until later this week. Not coincidentally, later this week, we'll almost certainly have enough cash on hand to pay our initial $10,000 fee. Good timing, yes?

2) A friend continues to go through her library & has donated more books to us. So, I'm back up to almost 650 books on my store site! Manga, graphic novels, kids' series ... lots of good stuff & more going "active" as I continue going through the garage sale books. And as I go through books to update, I've been pulling all the ones that are worth less than 75 cents. We took 6 bags over to Half Price Books this afternoon & made $25. Every buck counts, so I'm not complaining.

3) Ready for the most mind-boggling bit? I met a neighbor at the garage sale on October 3rd. She remembered what I'd told her about our situation & appeared on my front door step last Thursday morning. She had already laid the groundwork for a raffle to help us raise funds! She's already got several local business owners to make donations & is soliciting more. She's working with a local restaurant, DuPage Inn, that's selling raffle tickets at their bar & on November 7th, they'll hold a drawing during halftime of the Bears game for 3 different gift baskets. Is that cool or what? When I mentioned it on Facebook, a friend's husband commented that this should be the kind of thing shown on the evening news. Another friend, who is a journalist, offered to write up a press release. So, who knows how big this will get??